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Jascha Hoffman
Given the lack of firsthand evidence about Perelman's motives, one could have hoped for a clearer sense of the work he pursued with such devotion. Gessen, herself a "math junkie" in school, confines the math to a single difficult chapter…But she does provide a thorough account of the circumstances that led to Perelman's rise in the "vicious, backstabbing little world" of Soviet mathematics and a brilliant reconstruction of the twisted logic that might have led to his mysterious exit. In so doing she has written something rare: an accessible book about an unreachable man.—The New York Times
Overview
A gripping and tragic tale that sheds rare light on the unique burden of genius
In 2006, an eccentric Russian mathematician named Grigori Perelman solved the Poincare Conjecture, an extremely complex topological problem that had eluded the best minds for over a century. A prize of one million dollars was offered to anyone who could unravel it, but Perelman declined the winnings, and in doing so inspired journalist Masha Gessen to tell his story. Drawing on interviews with...